Summer Tree Planting Keys to Success

Lafayette Tree Service

Early autumn and spring are generally considered the best times to plant new trees, but there are some reasons summer tree planting is preferable. Trees are typically in a dormant stage during the fall, which means their growth is significantly slowed, almost like they’re sleeping. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and plant, here are some tips to ensure your summer trees flourish.

Not so Fast

If you plant small trees in the summer, consider leaving them in containers for a while. Trees that are containerized develop a healthy root system, which means they have a better chance to thrive. By keeping very young trees in a pot, it’s less likely they’ll experience transplant shock, a condition that can kill trees in all seasons, not just summer.

Provide Enough Water

There’s less rainfall in summer months, so you’ll need to manually water any trees planted at this time of year. Scheduling sufficient watering ensures that your trees don’t dry out and wither. If you help your new trees through the dry months, you can probably let nature take its course from autumn onwards. It just depends on your local climate.

Heeling In

Before summer tree planting, dig a large trench filled with fresh soil. Ground that has already been cultivated is ideal, but if not, use fresh compost and ensure there’s plenty of moisture to help roots get established.

The trench should be dug with a sloping back, and deep enough for the roots of the tree to be entirely covered. Once you finish your summer tree planting, cover the roots then help the tree remain upright by treading on the fresh soil.

The Best Trees for Summer Tree Planting

While summer tree planting isn’t considered ideal if you live in a hot climate, following these simple steps can ensure that your new trees make it through the dry season. If you’d like more information on the best trees for summer planting, call us at (925) 233-6877. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Japanese Maple Tree Care

Danville Tree Service

Japanese maples are generally hearty, healthy trees. Japanese maples are pretty easy to raise and care for. They tend not to succumb to disease or infection, but will perform poorly when their needs aren’t being met.

Your Japanese maple will appreciate it if you keep these things in mind:

Don’t Allow Japanese Maple Tree Roots to Sit in Water

If your Japanese maple doesn’t look healthy and well, there’s a good chance that the roots are overwatered. If the soil is too heavy, contains a lot of clay, or doesn’t drain well, that can be affecting the health of the tree. 

Before planting a Japanese maple, you can be sure that the ground is properly aerated with appropriate soil, and plant with the root ball only half burried. Once a tree is in its place, your best move is to monitor soil wetness. Be sure not to overwater, and your tree with thank you.

Don’t Spray Foliage

When you spray the leaves of a tree (any tree really) the water droplets act as little magnifying glasses, concentrating the sun’s power on a small spot until the water evaporates. Some leaves are bothered by this more than others. Although it certainly won’t kill your Japanese maple, this tree would prefer you spray the ground rather than the leaves. Or if you must spray the leaves, don’t do it on a sunny day, please. 

Don’t Over Fertilize 

These trees like soil rich in nutrients, but not rich in commercial fertilizers. In fact, they do better with no fertilization at all rather than many of the fertilizers available at the plant store. If you think your Japanese maple needs fertilizing, consult your trusted arborist.

Threats to Your Japanese maple tree

Of course, sometimes outside influences do attack your tree. Some of the problems that arise for this particular type of tree include: 

Pseudomonas Syringae

Pseudomonas syringae is opportunistic bacteria that usually attacks plants that are already damaged by other threats. It affects woody plants, including Japanese maples, which can display spotted leaves, and veins within the leaves can be blackened when infected. It can also cause dieback of small branches.

To learn more visit: Pseudomonas Syringae

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt is caused by a soil borne fungi but usually attacks plants that are stressed by other things like drought, frost, or wet soil. This fungus lives in the soil as small, darkened structures called microsclerotia. These microsclerotia may lie dormant in the soil for years. 

One or more branches, usually on one side of the tree, wilt suddenly. Sometimes the leaves turn yellow before they wilt, or leaf margins turn brown and appear scorched. Branches that die will need to be removed.

The best prevention for this fungi is a strong, healthy tree. There is some evidence that unbalanced fertilization (too much or too little nitrogen, for example) exacerbates this disease, but there’s no specific prevention or treatment. 

To learn more visit: Verticillium Wilt

Japanese Maple Scale

Scale insects are sucking insects that extract plant sap from the host plant. These scale have an armored exoskeleton, usually white. Scale insects are predatory, generally attacking unhealthy plants. The healthier your plants, the less likely they are to be attacked by scale insects. 

In trees with heavy infestations scale can cause premature leaf drop, branch dieback, or death of the plant. On Japanese maples, scale insects usually only attach themselves to the stems of the tree and not the leaves, so scrubbing the tree with soapy water and a scrub brush may solve an infestation.

To learn more visit: Japanese Maple Scale

Tree Borers

Tree Borers are a group of insects that lay their eggs on or inside of trees, where the young larvae eat through living tissues. Anything that bores into tree stems is commonly called a tree borer, whether it be beetles or clearwing moths. The symptoms and treatments are the same.

You can avoid initial infestation by having a professional prune your tree, eliminating unnecessary tree damage. Also, adding mulch around your tree and providing it with appropriate water and fertilizer will help it fight off borers and heal any previous damage.

To learn more visit: Tree Borers

Anthracnose

Affected trees often show spots that may look like scorching on the leaves. This fungal disease is prevalent during rainy seasons and conditions of high humidity. Rainy weather can empower this fungus, and drought can slow it down or stop it. 

Anthracnose remains active on leaves and twigs that have fallen to the ground, which helps it spread. Eventually spores are released from dropped leaves and re-attach themselves to the tree or new leaves. The easiest method of control is to keep dead twigs and leaves raked up from under your trees, and keep leaf litter that you suspect out of your compost pile.

To learn more visit: Anthracnose

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew covers leaves and stems starting with the underside, but becomes most obvious when it shows on the top of leaves with a white or grey powdery film. It thrives in hot, or hot and humid conditions, especially where a lot of plants are grouped together and air circulation is poor.

Trees are weakened by this mildew, but rarely seriously injured. Rake up and dispose of any affected leaves. It’s best not to put the affected leaves in your compost bin. 

Cut off affected portions, restrict fertilizing, water only at the soil level and do what you can to increase air circulation to control a powdery mildew infection.

To learn more visit: Powdery Mildew

Aphids

Aphids feed by attaching themselves to the leaves of a plant and sucking nutrients out of the leaves. Resulting leaf damage can be unattractive, but your Japanese maple tree will likely not suffer more than some leaf loss. They have a number of natural predators including lady bugs, so they usually don’t last long once they appear. You can treat them with insecticidal soap or rinse them off with a blast of water.

To learn more visit: Aphids

Phytophthora Root Rot

This is a fancy way of saying that the root system is rotted because of excess moisture. Japanese maples are susceptible because they don’t tolerate wet heavy soils that drain poorly. Of course solutions include planting shallowly, and never overwatering. If you’re having a problem with root rot, consult a qualified arborist for advice.

To learn more visit: Phytophthora Root Rot

 

Are You Harming Your Soil Ecosystem?

Danville Tree Pruning

The trees on your property are dependent on your soil to be a healthy, safe place for them to grow or just stay alive. If your soil suffers, the trees suffer. If your soil thrives, the trees thrive. You need to be sure you aren’t harming your soil, which would threaten your trees.

However, to do that, you need to know about some of the most common practices which lead to soil damage.

Using Biocides

One of the most common ways people harm soil is by using biocides, which destroy life inside the soil. Healthy soil is full of microorganisms that promote tree growth and nutrition. Unfortunately, when plants are sprayed with pesticides to kill insects, they also end up being absorbed by the soil, which becomes damaged as a consequence. Biocides include everything from pesticides, weed killers, and fungicides, etc.

Moreover, even if the biocides don’t have an immediate measurable effect on your trees or soil, the can remain for decades and damage life in the longer run as they build up.

Removing Vegetation

Another common practice that leads to the damage of soil is through the removal of vegetation. While some people remove ground covering plants to create some landscaping goals, you also need to understand that complete removal leads to the soil being exposed. It also loses the connectivity created by root systems. This, as a result, makes it vulnerable to forces of erosion like wind and rain.

When the soil is exposed to these threats, healthy topsoil is lost, which is a primary layer for plants to grow because it has the most organic matter. Moreover, when the soil is bare, it receives more sunlight, and this causes moisture to evaporate. Finally, it becomes compacted as it dries, which make it harder for the soil to absorb rain.

If you don’t want to destroy the soil, you need to understand the soil’s needs. You need to know the soil needs to be covered, and plants provide this shelter. 

Allowing Soil to Dry Out

When soil is allowed to dry, the rich environment or microorganism that call it home suffer. Organic matter thrives in soil, from living fungi, to earthworms and healthy bacteria, and they all need water to survive.

Remember that your trees can’t make these decisions for you, but it matter to them when you make choices soil management. Swear off biocides, grow ground covering plants, and keep your soil from drying, and your trees will thank you. Silently, by living a long healthy life. 

Cambistat: A Tree Care Solution

Concord Tree Pruning

As a property owner, you want to keep your trees healthy. In hard California droughts trees are susceptible to falling ill, and even dying. So it’s imperative that you protect your trees against stressors, and keep them healthy for their longevity.

This is where Cambistat can come in. Below, we’ll discuss some of the incredible health benefits Cambistat can give your trees and the protection they can give them in the harshest of times.

 

 

Why Cambistat?

Cambistat is a powerful tool to fortify your trees against some of the harsh Californian summers. With these nutrient treatments on your side, it’s easy to ensure that your trees will be healthy throughout any climate. There are a wide array of ways that in keeps your trees in tip top shape.

Here are our top 3:

 

1. Drought Tolerance

According to drought.gov, California is experiencing one of its longest droughts in state history. Having started in 2011 and extending up to present day, California has sustained 357 weeks of drought, at one point affecting 58.41% of Californian land. With over half of the state affected, chances are that your trees fall into one of these drought affected areas.

When it comes to Californian summers, nothing is better that Cambistat at preparing your trees to do well in drought. We know that being able to protect your trees from water shortage is a high priority. Thankfully, Cambistat is able to help protect against drought, by equipping your trees for record breaking dry spells.

 

2. Improved Root Systems

A strong, capable root system is key for any healthy tree. Without a stable support network to draw nutrients and water from the soil, any tree, even in the best of conditions, is doomed. When Cambistat is applied to your trees, there is a significant growth and production of fibrous roots.

Furthermore, Cambistat can be applied in any Californian weather (assuming there isn’t a torrential flood or that the state freezes over). Because Cambistat is so active, retreatment is only needed every three years, and will be able to keep your trees growing strong.

 

3. Growth Control

A final useful purpose of Cambistat is growth control. While every green thumb loves to see some vegetation, the unfortunate reality is that trees and their limbs often get in the way of urban growth.

Cambistat is able to help you and your trees by providing growth control. As your trees mature, with grooming, the treatment can help maintain a reasonable size for your tree, and ensure that the “leggy-ness” of your tree doesn’t get out of hand. This means your tree wouldn’t collide with sightlines, encroach over roads, or be a danger to power lines in a bad storm. Using Cambistat can ensure that both you and your neighbors are satisfied with your tree.

Cambistat is a logical and easy solution for any Californian land owner looking to ensure their trees stay healthy. Schedule an application, and watch your trees thrive.

Protecting Trees During Construction

Berkeley Tree Pruning

When building new structures, existing trees are often the main features in your landscape design, and need to be carefully preserved. But how do we go about protecting trees during construction?

Unfortunately, many times pre-existing trees have difficulty surviving construction. This can lead to unsafe or hazardous conditions and expensive post construction removal costs. With planning, communication and cooperation, existing healthy trees can be preserved with minimal effort and expense. Trees need their roots protected during the construction process.

 

Plan With an Arborist

Always have a professional arborist involved in the planning (and maybe execution) of the project. Small changes in the placement or design of buildings, driveways or utilities can make a difference in protecting trees during construction. Alternative construction methods are generally easier than growing a new 20 year old tree. If utilities can’t be routed away from trees, tunneling or hand dug trenches are worth considering, to place the utilities directly below the trunk, where they do the least damage.

 

Inventory Your Trees

Map the location, species, size, and health of each tree on the development site. This can help you decide which trees to keep, which to remove and which to put limited effort into keeping. Your arborist can tell you which trees probably shouldn’t be selected for preserving. These should be removed prior to construction. Be sure to prune trees that need additional clearance to make room for future structures and construction equipment.

 

Tree Protection Zones

You’ll want to erect sturdy fencing around each tree that is to be preserved before construction starts. For each inch of trunk diameter, the fence should be about one foot from the trunk. So a ten inch diameter trunk gets fencing 10 feet from it. A three inch layer of mulch should be applied to the area within the TPZ. This provides your tree with both above and below ground protection.

Mount Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) signs to the fences and ask all construction personnel to keep fencing intact. No trenching, digging or soil disturbance of any kind should happen in the TPZ. No building materials, waste materials, excess soil, paints or supplies should be within the TPZ. The area should be considered off-limits.

 

Before Construction Starts

A healthy tree is more likely to survive the construction process than one that’s stressed. Be sure trees are receiving proper irrigation in addition to rainfall if needed. Prune dead, diseased, or hazardous branches. Also remove branches that will interfere with construction equipment and machinery.

 

Stay Engaged: Protecting Trees During Construction

Visit the construction site and inspect your trees on a regular basis. An arborist’s presence alerts workers that trees are important and their careful treatment is important. Should damage occur, begin repairs as soon as possible. Immediately inform the builder/contractor of any violations in the tree preservation plan and photograph any damage. All protective fences should remain in place until all construction workers have left the site.

 

Minimize Soil Compaction

Construction equipment and vehicles are a common cause of soil compaction. Have your project manager limit access points and designate routes on and off of the property. The fewer, the better. They should also designate areas for parking, storage of equipment, construction materials, excess soil, etc.

 

Grade Changes

Grade changes directly affect the roots of a tree. This happens either by removing roots when lowering the grade, or suffocating the roots when raising the grade. It can also change drainage, creating excess water in some areas and not enough in others. Except where absolutely necessary, do not change grade within the Tree Protection Zone. If raising the grade is necessary, we recommend not adding more than two inches of fill each year. Lowering the grade removes important roots and your rich topsoil. If a lowering of the grade is necessary, have your arborist root prune at least four to six months before construction starts and use a regular irrigation schedule before during and after root pruning.

 

Post Construction

It can take several years for trees to overcome and adjust to the injury that occurs during construction. These changes can be stressful, and trees that are suffering from stress are naturally more prone to insect and disease infestations than healthy trees. It is important to establish a long term maintenance program with your arborist to monitor and maintain the trees.

Arborjet Therapy for Oak Tree Care

Concord Tree Care

People love oak trees. They’re majestically broad and protective feeling, with dense green foliage spans.

 

About Oaks

Oaks grow naturally across the Southeastern USA. They can be found on the east shore from southeastern Virginia to Florida and west to southern and central Texas. They grow naturally in the sandy soils of low coastal areas.

Oaks have male and female reproductive systems on the same plant. They flower every spring from March through May and acorns mature in September and fall off by December. Live oak acorns are long, dark brown to black.

They seldom grow over 50 feet tall, but the crown of the tree can have a span of 150 feet wide. That’s why it’s an incredibly popular shade tree! Oak tree wood is so sturdy that they were used for shipbuilding years ago, but today they’re mostly decorative trees.

 

Oak Wilt and Fungal Infections

Oaks tend to grow in huge groups with interconnected roots, which makes them extremely vulnerable to contracting oak wilt. The fungus travels from one oak to another through the linked roots and insect activity. Oak wilt destroys hundreds of trees just in Austin, Texas every year because of how rapidly they expand in groves.

Symptoms of oak wilt are otherwise healthy leaves developing yellow veins, turning brown and falling off the tree outside of autumn. The crown of the tree thins and weakens till it dies. Oak wilt can be costly to treat and regulate. An accurate medical diagnosis is critical. You’ll need to consult a certified arborist to guarantee proper medical diagnosis and treatment.

Unfortunately, oak wilt is quite infectious. Without the proper treatment, the death of the tree is inevitable.

 

Arborjet Therapy to the Rescue

Avoidance starts with expertise. To treat this fungus effectively, you need to seek the services of an expert.

Once diagnosed, we advise a trunk shot of the Arborjet Treatment, Propizol. It contains a systemic fungicide that reduces Bretiziella fagacearum, and specifically to combats oak wilt. Because oak wilt is spread through roots and insects, we advise Arborjet therapy of non-infected oaks near the contaminated trees. This can slow down and stop the spread of the condition.

After Care

Infected trees are highly susceptible to nitidulid beetles, which also carry oak wilt fungus. You’ll want to schedule tree trimmings at appropriate times to avoid nitidulid beetles, planning your trimming around the beetles’ off period. The active period for nitidulid beetles varies throughout the USA, so consult with your arborist.

A wound dressing that’s not toxic to plants is important on injured oaks, including those those that have been trimmed. Painting the wounds of an oak after cutting it will shut the wound off to prospective infection from nitidulid beetles. The county may penalize you for not repainting the wounds of a tree that’s just been trimmed.

When treating several trees, your arborist must sanitize drill bits and also injection devices between trees. Sexy Trees is an expert in controlling the spread of infection, with industry leading sterilization and sanitation. Don’t assume every arborist is as careful as is necessary when dealing with oak wilt and beetle infestations. Always ask.

Get in touch with Sexy Trees if you believe a stump or a tree on your property may be influenced by oak wilt.

Our Newest Service: Arborjet Tree Injections

https://youtu.be/RbKiYnqbcnw

 

Sexy Trees cares about the health of your trees, the ecosystem they need to thrive, and the larger ecology. We’re always looking for more effective ways to protect and benefit your trees and the larger ecosystem they rely on. Our values are why we’re now offering Arborjet tree injections.

 

What are Arborjet Tree Injections?

First and foremost, they are effective! Arborjet nutrient injections get what your tree needs to thrive directly into the tree’s circulatory system, and quickly distributed. The injection is delivered through the trunk, so none of it is wasted in the soil or drained away with water.

Maybe your tree is having any trouble absorbing nutrients through the roots, or your soil just doesn’t have the right balance. Arborjet trunk injections are a highly effective solution to delivering proper nutrition for a lush, strong tree. Injection is faster than any other method for immediate delivery of elements your tree works to extract from the ground.

 

What Trees are Good Candidates for Arborjet Injections?

Not all trees are good candidates for trunk injections. Your arborist will tell you if your tree can benefit from them. If your tree is actively fighting an infection or parasite, your arborist may recommend taking another course. This may be either combining the injection with another solution to the tree’s active problem or postponing injection until after the tree has completed treatment. And there will be some trees that simply are dead or in the process of dying.

 

If you ‘re in the San Francisco wider bay area and are wondering if your tree or trees can benefit from Arborjet trunk injections, contact Sexy Trees today. We love trees, and we’d love to help your trees thrive.

Fertilizer Root Injections to Support Tree Health

Tree Care Blackhawk

If you have a tree that needs a little help to get or stay healthy, there are options for you. Liquid fertilizer treatments can be injected to the root area to fortify your tree.

 

What is Deep Root Fertilization?

When a specialized liquid fertilizer treatment is injected to the root area of your tree, that is Deep Root Fertilization. The liquid solution injected into the root zone is under pressure and mixed with oxygen. The injection method aerates the root system and distribute nutrients evenly. The fertilizer is injected to about 1 foot to 1.5 feet below ground, in sites 2 to 3 feet apart. The sites form a grid pattern in the canopy area soil and beyond the drip line.

 

Why Not Just Apply Fertilizer on The Ground Surface?

When applying them directly to the surface, only a limited part of the root system is exposed to them. Plus if grass is present, grass root systems absorb most of your fertilizer. Wind and rain erode the rest of your surface fertilizer. None of it generally makes it to the depth of more than a foot underground where tree roots need it most. It can be a real waste of effort.

 

How Often Should You Have Your Trees “Fed” Liquid Fertilizer Root Injections?

Fertilization performs best when repeated once or twice a year for healthy trees. Sometimes there is severe root damage, soil is compacted, or your tree has other health problems. When that happens, the arborists at Sexy Trees will examine your tree and may recommend increasing frequency or amending nutrients. The custom treatment plan will optimally improve conditions in and around the root zone to restore your tree to health.

Roots are opportunistic by nature and will grow wherever oxygen, nutrients, and moisture are present. Ongoing deep root fertilizer injections improve the oxygen content, microbial activity, and nutrient levels within the soil. The injections create better environmental conditions in the root zone. Your trees will get progressively healthier and more robust as they keep receiving root injections.

To provide your tree with these health-boosting nutrients, you’ll need to work with an arborist that has the proper equipment and training, like Sexy Trees. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your first root injection.

Apple Trees in the Bay Area: Good or Bad Idea?

Tree Service Concord

If you already have apples trees in the SF Bay Area, then you already know: Apple trees are great here. Not effortless, but not hard.

 

Which Apple Trees are Good in the Bay Area?

Apple varieties that are “Low Chill” can be found at most Bay Area nurseries, and these are the ones you want. Among these are ‘Baldwin,’ ‘Braeburn,’ ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin,’ ‘Fuji,’ ‘Gala,’ ‘Golden Delicious,’ ‘Red Gravenstein,’ ‘Spitzenburg,’ ‘White Pearmain’ and ‘Yellow Bellflower.’

Of course your property may already have an apple tree or many of them. To find out what kind of tree you have, whether it’s in good health, and what its needs are, you can set an appointment with Sexy Trees to come out, examine it, and schedule any maintenance it needs.

 

What Kind of Care Do They Need?

If you have a newly planted apple tree, now is the time to have it pruned.  As your tree grows, prune for the four “D’s”: Dead, Diseased, Damaged or Disoriented Branches. Fruit trees, including apples, benefit from pruning in winter and summer.

Your tree also needs sunlight to fruit, not in general, but specifically: each branch with perform in alignment with how much sunlight it receives. Apple trees don’t do well in shade, and pruning should reflect that, being mostly at the top of the tree so that maximum surface area gets strong light exposure.

Top-dress your apple trees with compost each fall. Also, lay down mulch about 3 inches deep and  about 4 inches from the trunk, which keeps back weeds and retains moisture.

Unless they’re self-fertile, apple trees need pollination to produce fruit. Neighboring or nearby apple trees are needed for pollination to bear fruit, after honeybees and other insects pollinate the trees. Once fertilized, their flowering can be followed by good fruit set.

 

For help with your apple trees or any tree on your property, contact Sexy Trees today to get top quality services from a Diamond-Certified professional arborist.